A Decade of Suara: Coyu on Success, Balance, Tech House, and Cats

Lauren Krieger

On the 10 year anniversary of Suara, I catch up with Coyu to talk about the label’s past, present, and future.

In an era when it seems like there are new labels popping up every day, it’s reassuring to know that there are those imprints whose dedication to quality and passion for releasing new talents has stood the test of time. Suara recently celebrated a decade in the industry, providing the opportunity to not only reflect on its unexpected success, but the chance to realign and refresh for what is still to come. With 320 releases, 33 showroom releases and several compilations, Suara is one of the most prominent labels in electronic music. Finding themselves at the top of the charts, and in 2016 as the highest selling non-EDM label on Beatport, the imprint has accomplished beyond the ordinary in this industry.

Building from one person to 20 employees who manage a label, fashion line, events, cat rescue and more, Suara has grown beyond all of Coyu’s expectations. What began on the side of his first label Atypical Farm, Suara soon overtook its predecessor and required the full effort of Coyu and an ever-growing team.

In this great conversation with Coyu for this landmark moment, I was able to get some wonderful insight into the development and distinction of Suara.

On Suara’s Anniversary:

“It makes me very proud, I’m very happy. It’s not easy to be 10 years in this business, how difficult it is. Especially a label like us, we release one record per week. It’s crazy. We have the store and the cathouse, it’s a lot of things to do. We are very happy and very proud to see all the support we have been getting over these years. We make a few special records, a few special parties, now it’s the time to think about future things… what we’re going to achieve over the next 10 years, keep getting better, keep trying to do new things.”

The Beginning:

I didn’t have any vision, I wanted to release quality music – that’s all. Sometimes you do something and that thing becomes bigger than you expect. And that’s what happened with Suara. We have been the most charted label on RA for 4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017). We have been one of the best selling label on Beatport, we have hosting been Ibiza weekly parties for years, parties all over the world – ADE, BPM, WMC… We’ve released music from some of my favorite producers, it’s like a dream come true. It’s amazing.”

On Success:

“I’m a guy that is not very talented, but I’m a hard worker. I spend a lot of time working in everything I believe. And everything I like. I push myself to try to get better all the time. I think I’m not very talented but I have the right mentality to try to build things, to try to… I like to have fun, but in this business you have too much fun, that means a lot of things. So it’s about balance. I think I have the right balance. I party but I also have a company with 20 people working for me and I think that’s why I have been successful over the last years with the label and productions. I push myself, I am very tenacious. I think that’s why Suara is 10 years old now. Hard work and focus.”

Suara’s Changes:

“We’re in a very important moment in the life of the label because 2 years ago we decided to make a transition. We decided to release more underground stuff, to not keep doing tech house because I became very bored with the genre; it became very mainstream, very commercial, very cheesy. I hate it because I was one of those guys who helped the genre to become popular almost 10 years ago, and I released tech house on a lot of big labels, and now it’s very sad to see how the genre became too cheesy… It’s like the same guy making the same tracks all the time. You check the top 10 of any digital store and you will realize that there is no freshness anymore. People are repeating the same track all the time.

So we decided to stop following this trend and to release more underground; it could be house, it can be techno, but more underground. We are in a very important moment because for sure tech house is huge so our sales are not the same as 2 years ago, but we are very happy with the direction of the scene, of everyone in the music business. We feel that people support us, we didn’t lose fans, they keep supporting us even if the sales aren’t the same. We are not worried about it because we realize that sales are not as important anymore now that streaming is more important, and we have many of the benefits of streaming. We also are a label that likes to support new comers and newbies and we’re going to keep doing that. It’s a very interesting moment for us.”

Keeping Fresh:

“I don’t like to be in the same position all the time, I like to see that I’m moving from somewhere to another place all the time, I don’t like to just sit down and see what is happening. I want to be one of the players. Nowadays you can be one of the players if you want, you only have to try to make something different and something fresh.”

Next On The Horizon:

“We are going to release a compilation of women producers from all over the world because I feel that big labels don’t support women producers and I think that the music business is very chauvinist and I want to give light to all the amazing women producers, probably not those that are super popular, but they release quality music but they don’t have the right support. We want to make a press conference in different cities to talk about the future in the music business related to the women producers. I think it’s the right time to give them light, to these amazing women producers that don’t have the support.”

Of course, it’s not a complete chat with Coyu if we don’t talk about cats. Suara Foundation is a non-profit organization formed in 2011 whose main mission is to offer better living conditions to the street cats of Barcelona. In addition to fixing and providing vet care for the feral cat colonies, they house adoptable cats in their beautiful cat house / cat cafe in Barcelona’s downtown. Here people can come spend time with the cats, and if they fall in love and they are the right person for the cat, they can adopt them.

That is my most important project. I feel happy when I can help others, and if they are cats, that’s even better.

Suara Foundation
Suara Music

Listen to Coyu’s mixes on FRISKY:

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